Ascent of Mount Ojibway on 2015-06-14

Climber: Gustav Sexauer

Others in Party:Katrina
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, June 14, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Boat
Peak:Mount Ojibway
    Elevation:1140 ft / 347 m

Ascent Trip Report

We were dropped off in Rock Harbor around 3:30 in the afternoon. We went in to the visitor’s center to get our permits and found out we had to declare where we thought we would camp every night on our trip. We told them we wanted to do some backcountry camping and the ranger was surprised. He said, “You must be pretty adventurous!” We thought that was odd seeing as our hike across the island would already be unsupported and we would truly off the grid with no electronic way to contact anyone in an emergency. We were given a map that divided the island into small regions and each was color coded based on when camping is allowed there. We set our sights on getting to somewhere east of Mount Ojibway to camp on this first night. The rangers also asked us about the routes we were taking and they said that the Rock Harbor trail to Daisy Farm was “the hard way” to Mount Ojibway. Again, we didn’t see how the shoreline could be so hard. Once we got going we found that the trail went up and down a lot, maybe gaining 20’ on the highest rises, but the mixed boulder and dirt walking was not too hard. We certainly weren’t accustomed to our pack weights (mine may have been around 40 pounds), but that was about the only issue. In my pack I carried a variety of nuts and trial mix, granola bars, craisins, the tent, my sleeping bag, a couple changes of clothes, a compass, hobo tool, life straw, 3.5L of water, and a jacket. On the Rock Harbor Trail we soon saw and hear loons in the bay to our left. To my surprise, the pines here had mossy stuff hanging off the dead branches which I had previously only seen in southern Montana. There were also a few motor boats going by. Soon we also heard the ringing of a bell which turned out to be a buoy by the lighthouse near Daisy Farm. The bell was continuous and pervasive. There were a couple mine openings that we passed that were filled with water. The mosquitos were pretty bad there. We were trying to make it without using bug spray, but we did bring it along. When we were moving quick enough the bugs weren’t a problem, but that was less than half of the time. At the Daisy Farm we saw a number of people relaxing as the Sun was getting low. We continued on up towards Mount Ojibway and the trail began to climb. We went past one person headed downhill and that was the only person we saw hiking on our day 1. The trail crested a lesser ridge, then went through an idyllic valley before climbing up to the observation tower on Mount Ojibway, part of the Greenstone Ridge. The vegetation changed in the valley to briar bushes and few trees. We turned off the trail and went out a ridge to the NE on an even more minor ridge in the valley. We could see Superior far off to the NE and could still hear the bell from the buoy. Our campsite was one of the most scenic I had ever pitched in. It was around sunset, and a mist began creating a rainbow in the eastern sky.
On day 2 of our hike we had to pack up the tent wet. It had rained in the night, but luckily it was not raining at dawn. On our way back to the trail we had to bushwhack and our pants became soaked, mine wetting my socks and eventually making my feet wet all over. Katrina’s boots had lost their waterproof capabilities this spring and we kept forgetting to fix them, but she was paying for that now. We made the Ojibway summit in a fog and could only see 50 yards. So much for the great view from the tower that we hoped for. We then began hiking on the Greenstone Ridge Trail, with the eventual goal of summiting Mount Desor and reaching Windigo for our Tuesday boat ride back to Grand Portage.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1274 ft / 388 m
    Total Elevation Loss:735 ft / 224 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1274 ft / 388 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 539 ft / 164 m; Extra: 735 ft / 224m
    Loss on way in:735 ft / 224 m
    Distance:8.6 mi / 13.9 km
    Route:Rock Harbor trail/Mt. Ojibway Trail
    Start Trailhead:Rock Harbor  601 ft / 183 m
    Time:5 Hours 40 Minutes
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Isle Royale 15 (3 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Ojibway2015-06-14 #11274 ft / 388 m
3Mount Desor2015-06-15 #14041 ft / 1232 m
4Sugar Mountain2015-06-15 #2875 ft / 267 m
Total Trip Gain: 6190 ft / 1887 m    Total Trip Loss: 6255 ft / 1906 m

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